Thank you for visiting our virtual exhibition

Here you can read our exhibition boards, watch a short animation on our proposals, and view an interactive map of the working areas. To view each section, simply click on the dark green icons.

These proposals were designed following one of the biggest consultations in our history. Thousands of people engaged with the initial proposals, thank you for all your feedback and comments.

To view the materials simply click on the dark green icons on this page.


How to use

Thank you for visiting our virtual exhibition. Here you can read our exhibition boards, watch a short animation on our proposals, and view an interactive map of the working areas. To view each section, simply click on the dark green icons.


Where exactly are the sites?

The programme of works will see six sections of the pipeline/aqueduct replaced, running through seven different local authorities and 21 different wards. To manage a programme of works of this size, nine separate applications will be brought forward to the following local councils:

  • Docker
    • South Lakeland District Council
  • Swarther
    • South Lakeland District Council
    • Yorkshire Dales National Park
  • Bowland
    • Lancaster City Council
    • Ribble Valley Borough Council
  • Marl Hill
    • Ribble Valley Borough Council
  • Haslingden and Walmersley
    • Hyndburn Borough Council
    • Rossendale Borough Council
    • Bury Metropolitan Borough Council

Why are the proposals needed?

The Haweswater Aqueduct services the regions of Cumbria, Lancashire, and Greater Manchester, drawing fresh drinking water from the Haweswater Reservoir.

In 2013 and 2016, investigations commissioned by us uncovered areas of concern within the aqueduct network that could, if not managed, result in future disruptions of supply or detrimental impacts on drinking water quality.

As a result, we are bringing forward these works to rectify the issue and safeguard the regions water supply for generations to come.

Why have United Utilities chosen to do this amount of work?

In 2017, following economic, social, and environmental analysis, we undertook a wide-ranging consultation with customers and stakeholders on a variety of options to manage this issue.

These options included replacing parts of the aqueduct and not others and installing more treatment stations. The consultation made clear that the option being undertaken – replacing key sections of the aqueduct – was the favoured

There are nine planning applications, what happens if one does not get approved?

We will continue to implement the works on the other, approved applications.

How did you involve the community in these plans?

We oversaw one of the biggest consultations in its history.

In 2017 we started a market research programme with customers, businesses and stakeholders. This included over 37 hours of focus groups, over 2,000 interview and meetings with all relevant local authorities, local highways authorities, Highways England and Environment Agency.

In 2019, we began consulting stakeholders and planned to launch our wider public consultation on our initial proposals via public exhibitions in March 2020. Whilst we managed to successfully carry out some of the planned public exhibitions, we had to change our engagement programme to accommodate the new social distancing guidance following the COVID-19 outbreak.

In response to this, we launched our virtual exhibition in July 2020, a digital platform that outlined our proposals, included interactive maps of the pipeline, animations and videos about HARP and its history and gave site visitors the opportunity to leave comments, questions and feedback on our initial ideas.

To promote the virtual exhibition, we delivered over 20,000 newsletters to the impacted areas, engaged with local and regional press outlets and undertook a huge social media awareness campaign, reaching over 80,000 people on Facebook and Twitter.

In total, there were 12,539 visits to the site and over 2,000 pieces of feedback were recorded.

All feedback received will be recorded and analysed as part of the Statement of Community Involvement, which will be submitted alongside the planning application

What types of vehicles will you be using?

The types of vehicles will differ depending on their particular task. Examples of the type of vehicles and volume we would expect to be used whilst carrying out the work are detailed below.

  • Abnormal loads: from 3m wide and 18m long (Cranes) to 4.3m wide and 24m long (Tunnel boring

    • The largest expected vehicle would be for the TBM (tunnel boring machine).  The TBM will typically be transported to or from a site in three modular sections to ensure road loading requirements are adhered to. The arrangements for transporting the TBM sections to site are to be agreed with the relevant local authority highways department, the local traffic police and following consultation with interested 3rd party stakeholders that may be impacted. The TBM transport operation and timings will be agreed to suit the best interests of all parties involved.
  • Large construction vehicles will include;
    • 20 tonne 8 wheel tipper (2.5m wide and 9.1m long,) tankers, road sweepers, 40ft articulated flatbed lorries, skip wagons and concrete wagons.
  • Light vehicles: will include;
    • Cars and transit vans

How have you selected the highway routes to your working areas?

Since late 2019 we have been assessing the routes our construction traffic would travel to access the areas we need to work in. Our engineering and environmental planning teams have been having regular meetings and driving the local roads in the area with consultant traffic management specialists, consultant construction contractors, your local highways authority and Highways England. The proposed routes have been considered against criteria including route length and road widths, number of settlements and sensitive locations such as schools, commercial and community properties, road safety data, constructability, road widening opportunities and other constraints.

Have you considered the impact COVID-19 travel restrictions has had on your traffic assessments?

Yes, the information we have used to assess impact on the highway such as traffic counts has taken into consideration the impact of Covid-19. We have used historical data as well as our own assessments to help provide a more accurate analysis.

How will you manage the impact on traffic while you carry out this work?

Where possible, we have developed our plans to try and reduce the impact on local highways and its users. There will be a Traffic Management Plan submitted as part of each planning application that provides details of the proposed
management of construction traffic to the proposed compounds. This will help demonstrate how the local roads can be used safely, taking account of potential impacts on other road users including non-motorised users (cyclists, walkers and equestrians). Details of mitigation measures will also be included where appropriate including potential; road widening, passing places, road closures, driver training, hours of work, maintenance of the highway, communication and monitoring.

The traffic management plan also outlines how the above will be monitored and what procedures would be in place should drivers not follow what has been agreed. 

Will you be maintaining the highways you are using during construction activities?

The Traffic Management Plan will also include the measures we intend to adopt to minimise degradation of the local highway network as a result of our proposed works. Measures we will employ as a minimum include;

  • Undertaking a pre-entry photographic survey of the highways we will be using. This will help us understand the original condition of the highway and provide a baseline against which post-construction reinstatement can be undertaken.
  • Periodic highway condition inspections will be conducted whilst the work is underway by the contractor and the findings shared and agreed with Local Highways Authority.
  • Any works that are deemed required to maintain or improve the highway standards for all road users due to any impacts caused by construction traffic from the project will be at the agreement of the contractor and the Local Highways Authority.
  • A wheel washing facility will be provided at site locations or where a high frequency of HGV traffic may occur. The use of road sweepers will be deployed as required to keep the carriageway surface clean, although this is only anticipated in the locality of the construction site access points.
  • We also propose to establish a community forum to ensure that any issues encountered by residents can be escalated and resolved in partnership with our Contractor, the local planning authority and highways authority.

Will your work be noisy?

Construction projects of this type will generate noise and that is why we have carried out noise assessments as part of the Environmental Impact Assessments. The assessments consider the impacts on residential properties and other community assets in the areas adjacent to the proposed compounds and working areas, compared to the characteristics of the area prior to the work. The assessments are informed by a list of machinery and equipment likely to be required during construction including temporary generators, pumps and site vehicles such as excavators, along with descriptions of the construction activities.

The findings of the Environmental Impact Assessments will be reported in the Environmental Statements, which will be made available for public consultation as part of the planning application process. Mitigation measures necessary to
avoid, reduce or offset adverse effects of noise, dust and vibration will be detailed in a Construction Code of Practice and include considering appropriate timing of activities, making use of silencers on equipment, considerate positioning of equipment, and using sound reducing enclosures or barriers. Levels of noise dust and vibration will be monitored during construction.

Will the tunnelling work cause damage to my property?

Assessments are being carried out as part of the Environmental Impact Assessments to consider the impacts on residential properties and other community assets in the areas adjacent to our works. We will do all we can to mitigate any impacts and will be closely monitoring levels of vibration throughout the project.

When carrying out works of this nature close to properties, it is our standard procedure to have a structural survey carried out on nearby properties. This is just to give you peace of mind, we do not envisage any structural damage to
your property. We will make you aware if your property is one that requires a survey in advance of work starting.

In the unlikely event that there is unplanned damage to structures such as buildings, roads or bridges, or to underground utilities such as water, gas or electric that has been caused by us we will work with the owner to rectify
the problem.

Will the light from your working area shine into my house?

We are preparing a Lighting Strategy to be submitted in support of our planning applications. The Lighting Strategy will set out measures to be adhered to by the Contractor undertaking the works in order to mitigate impacts on residential,
ecological or landscape receptors. Such measures will include adopting the lowest safe lighting levels possible for the task being undertaken, limiting the hours of lighting where practicable and controls over the specification and
direction of lights to be used.

I live near to one of your working areas, what will I see?

All compound areas will be surrounded by hoarding or ‘heras’ type fencing which will be agreed with the Local Planning Authority. The type of fencing will be chosen to help reduce the visual impact of our work.

Once our work is complete we will be reinstating the land back to its original state or within the agreements with the land owner.

Will I still be able to use the recreational areas near me?  / will you need to close footpaths?

We will maintain access to open spaces and recreation as much as possible and working with those who may be affected. Our intention will be to maintain access along all Public Rights of Way impacted by the proposed works, either via a managed crossing point or a short distance temporary diversion, as appropriate. Details of such proposed measures will be included in the planning applications to be submitted to the local authority.

Who do I contact if I want to speak to someone when the work in underway?

We will have dedicated staff responsible for customer liaison, they will be responsible for proactively engaging with communities with timely communications to ensure advance information about the work in the area is provided. We will provide all the ways in which you can get in touch with us in advance of the project starting, this will also include a 24-hour telephone number.

We also propose to establish a community forum to ensure that any issues encountered by residents can be escalated and resolved swiftly.

Will there be opportunities for local community investment and engagement?

Yes, we recognise that work of this nature can impact local communities and we will be looking for community investment opportunities in the future. Our dedicated customer liaison team will be working closely with the impacted communities to identify opportunities to meet the local needs.

Will your work impact on my land?

As part of this project we will need to access and carry out work in private land. We have already begun contacting those that maybe affected and will continue to work closely with them on an individual basis in accordance with our standard Code of Practice. 

Will my business be impacted by your works?

We know that our work can sometimes be a pain. This can be especially inconvenient for you if you’re running a business in an area affected by our work. That is why we always do what we can to keep disruption to a minimum and work closely with the Highways Authority to ensure effective traffic management is in place to reduce the impact on your business. If you feel our work has resulted in a loss of profit for your business, we have a process in place to manage your concerns on an individual basis.

Will my water / wastewater services be impacted by your work?

No, your day to day water and wastewater services will not be affected by this work.

I have a Private Water Supply will this be affected by your work?

Impact on ground water sources including private water supplies will form part of the Environmental Impact Assessments.

The findings of the Environmental Impact Assessments will be reported in the Environmental Statements. In advance of the work we are contacting those who have supplies that may be impacted to discuss providing temporary alternative supplies or monitoring requirements.

Will your work have an impact on air quality?

Air quality impact assessments have been undertaken as part of the Environmental Impact Assessments. The air quality assessments consider a number of factors, including dust emissions during construction, exhaust emissions from road vehicles (e.g. cars, vans, buses and lorries) travelling to and from site during construction and exhaust emissions from electrical generation plant (i.e. diesel generators) during construction.

The findings of the Environmental Impact Assessments will be reported in the Environmental Statements, which will be made available for public consultation as part of the planning application process. Mitigation measures necessary to
avoid, reduce or offset adverse effects will be detailed in a Construction Code of Practice, which will also be submitted in support of the planning applications.

What impacts will your work have on the environment?

We are assessing the impacts on the environment as part of the Environmental Impact Assessment. Although these works are temporary, we are committed to achieving a 10% net gain in biodiversity as a result of the proposed programme of works, in an aim to leave the natural environment in a measurably better state than before. This would be achieved through reinstatement of the working area, with enhancement where practicable. We are developing proposals for additional offsetting on United Utilities owned sites within the local area. Management would be put in place for 30 years post development and monitoring would be undertaken and reported to the planning authority. These proposals would include the planting of native trees, in addition to the creation of other habitats impacted by the proposed works.

A Construction Environmental Management Plan would also be produced outlining how we monitor and manage any potential risk to the environment through construction.

What carbon mitigation measures are proposed such as the planting of trees?

The proposed tunnels have been designed so as to operate by gravity flow, minimising carbon emissions associated with pumping. We will be stipulating that the Contractor shall work to support delivery of the commitments contained in United Utilities’ Environmental Policy and our procurement approach has been developed to encourage a reduction in energy use and CO2 emissions during the detailed contractor design, planning and construction phases. Our procurement approach also includes plans to measure, manage and minimise impacts.

Will you have security on your site?

Levels of security would vary depending on the work being undertaken and the location. The Contractor would ensure that temporary construction compounds including offices are adequately secured to protect the public and prevent unauthorised entry to the site, this may include perimeter fencing or hoarding, site lighting, security guards, CCTV, perimeter security etc.  With regards to CCTV, the location and direction of view would be considered to prevent intrusion into residential properties.  Access to the temporary construction compounds would be via specified entry points only and all personnel would be asked to report to the site office for health and safety and security reasons.

What is the anticipated daily progress of the tunnel boring machine?

We are anticipating an average tunnelling production rate of 25 metres per day.

How long will this work take?

We are aiming to submit planning applications to the relevant local planning authorities in Spring 2021 and hope that these will be determined in late 2021. We expect construction to start across the proposed pipeline in 2023 and will end in 2029. The final stage, the removal of working areas and reinstatement of land, will then finish in 2030.

Have you considered the impact on other local developments in the area you are working in?

Yes, working with the relevant local planning authorities this is considered as part of our planning application.

Will your work impact on local flooding issues?

We are assessing the impacts on flood risk as part of the Environmental Impact Assessment. A Flood Risk Assessment (FRA) will be submitted as part of each planning application and will include details of how flood risk, in relation to the development proposals, will be managed.

Where will other surplus materials go?

Surplus excavated material from the works would be stored and treated as required, prior to removal off site to a licensed facility. There may also be opportunities in the future for surplus excavated material from the works to be utilised in schemes for beneficial reuse of the material.

Contact Us

If you would like to report any issues with this site or would like hard copies of the materials, please contact us on:

Tel: 0800 298 7040

If you have any questions or issues regarding your water supply please visit

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